ePub 版

a naval engagement in front of it on the 6th of June, in which our loss was eighty killed and wounded and seventy-five taken prisoners, and four gunboats sunk.

The occupation of Memphis by the ^nemy was a serious disaster to the South, although it did not open the Mississippi; for it gave him extraordinary facilities for almost daily reinforcements of men and supplies, and for the preparation of expeditions to penetrate to the heart of the Confederacy.

But the enemy received a check oh the Mississippi w^iere he had least expected it. On the 24th of June, his combined fleet retired, ifnd abandoned the siege of Vicksburg, without accomplishing anything, after a ^iege of six weeks. No injurywas sustained, by <my of the batteries at Vicksburg. . The number .of shells thrown into the city and at the batteries amounted to 25,000. The casualties in the city were one woman and one1 negro man killed* and among the soldiers on guard and at the batteries there were twenty-two killed and wounded. The lower -bombarding fleet, under command of Corns. Farragut and Porter, consisted of 18 gun and -mortar boats, 5 sloorfs of war and 70 transports; the upper fleet Consisted of 11 gunboats and rams, and 18 transports, under command of Com. Davis.

The people of the South found in the defence of ^icksburg a splendid lesson of magnanimity and disinterested patriotism. For several weeks this city had resisted successfully the attack of the enemy's gunboats, mortar fle*ets and heavy'siege guns. She was threatened by powerful fleets above and below, and yet, with unexampled spirit, the Queen City of the Bluffs sustained the iron storm that was rained upon her for weeks with continued fury.

New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchez and Memphis were in the hands of the Yankees, an I their possession by the enenty might, have furnished'to Vicksburg, in its exposed and desperate situation, the usual excuses of timidity and selfishness for its surrender. * But the brave city resisted these vile and unmanly excuses, and. gave to the world one of the proudest and most brilliant illustrations of the earnestness and devotion of the people of the South that had jet adorned the war.

The fact that hut little hopes could be entertained of the eventual success of the defence of Vicksburg ajninst the powerful concentration of the enemy's navy, heightened the nobility of the resistance she made. The resistance of the enemy in circumstances*which afford but a feeble and uncertain prospect of victory requires a great spirit; but it is more invaluable to us than a hundred easy victories; it teaches the enemy

that we are invincible and overcomes him with despair; it

• . . . • exhibits to the world the inspirations and Moral grandeur

of our cause; and it educates our people in chivalry and warlike virtues by the force of illustrious examples of selfdevotion.

But the people of the South had the satisfaction of witnessing an unexpected issue of vicfory in the siege of Vicksburg, and had occasion to learn another lesson that the history of all wars indicates, that the practical test of resistance affords the only sure determination, whether a place is defensible'or nof. With a feeling of inexpressible pride (fcd Vicksburg behold two immense fleets, each of which had been heretofore invincible, brought to bay, and, unable to cope with her, kept at a respectful distance, and compelled to essay the extraordinary task of digging a new channel for the Mississippi.

In the month of July occurred the remarkable expedition of the celebrated John Morgan into Kentucky. The expedition of this cavalier was one of the most brilliant, rapid and successful raids recorded in history. Composed of a force less than one.thousand, consisting of Morgan's own regiment, with some partisan rangers from Georgia, and a Texas squadron, to which was attached twro companies of Tennessee cavalry, it penetrated as far as Cynthianna- It was Morgan's intention to make a stan4 at Richmond, Kentucky, to await reinforcements, as he was persuaded that nearly the whole people of that State were,ready to rise and join him; but finding, that the enemy was endeavoring to envelope him with large bodies of cavalry, lie was compelled to fall back. On reaching Somerset, he took possession of the telegraph, and very coolly countermanded all the previous orders that had been given by Gen. Boyle at Louisville to pursue him.

He had left Knoxville on the fourth day of July with nine hundred men, and returned to Lexington on the 28th with nearly twelve hundred. In twenty-four days he had penetrated two hundred and fifty miles into a country in full pos^session of the Yankees; captured seventeen towns; met,t fought and captured a Yankee force superiour to his own in numbers; captured three thousand stand of arms at Lebanon; and, from first to last, destroyed- during his raid military stores, railroad bridges and other property to the value of eight or ten millions of dollars. He accomplished all this, besides putting the people of Cincinnati into a condition, described by one of their newspapers, as "bordering on frenzy," and returned to Tennessee with a loss in all his engagements of not more than ninety men in killed, wounded and missing.

While some activity was shown in extreme portions of the West, we shall see that our military operations from Greenbrier county, Virginia, all the way down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, were conducted with but little vigour. On the boundaries of East Tennessee, Southwestern Virginia and Kentucky, we had a force in the aggregate of thirty thousand men confronted by probably not half their number of Yankee troops; yet the Southwestern counties of Virginia and the Valley of the Clinch, in Tennessee, were entered and mercilessly plundered by the enemy in the face of our troops.

But we shall have occasion to notice the campaign in the West on a broader arena. We shall see how movements in this direction pressed back the discouraged and retreating foe# We shall see how these movements of the Confederates were intended to repossess the country previously occupied by them and to go forward to the redemption of the State of Kentucky, and the attack of one or more of the leading cities of the West; how, in the prosecution of this plan, IS orth* Alabama and Mississippi were speedily cleared of the footsteps of the foe; how all of Tennessee, save the strongholds of Memphis and Nashville, and the narrow districts commanded by them, were retrieved, and by converging armies, nearly the whole of Kentucky was occupied and held—and how, at last, all these achievements were reversed in a night's time, and the most valuable and critical points abandoned by our troops, or rather by the will of the unfortunate general who led them.

But our narrative does not yet open on the chequered page of the West. That important part of our history is prefaced by the brilliant story of the summer campaign of the upper Potomac, and is relieved by dazzling lights of glory on the old battle-grounds of Virginia.


Effect of MeClellan's Defeat in the North...Call for more Troops...Why the North was not Easily Dispirited...The War as a Money Job...Note: General Washington's Opinion of New England...The Yankee Finances...Exasperation of Hostilities...The Yankee Idea of a "Vigourous Prosecution of the War"... Ascendancy of the Radicals...War Measures at Washington...Anti-Slavery Aspects of the War...Brutality of the Yankees...The Insensibility of Europe... Yankee Chaplains in Virginia...Seizures of Private Property...Pope's Orders in Virginia... Steinwehr's Order Respecting Hostages...The Character and Services of General John Pope...The "Army of Virginia"...Irruption of the Northern Spoilsmen...The Yankee Trade in Counterfeit Confederate Notes... Pope's "Chasing the Rebel Hordes"...Movement Against Pope by" "Stonewall" Jackson...Battle Of Cedar Mountain...McClellan Recalled from the Peninsula...The Third Grand Army of the North...Jackson's Surprise of the Enemy at Manassas...A Rapid and Masterly Movement...Change of the Situation...Attack by the Enemy upon Bristow Station and at Manassas Junction...Marshalling of the Hosts...Longstreet's Passage of Thoroughfare Gap... The Plans of General Lee»...Spirit of our Troops...Their Painful Marches... The Second Battle Of Manassas...A Terrible Bayonet Charge—Rout of the Enemy...A Hideous Battle-Feld...General Lee and the Summer Campaign of Virginia...Jackson's Share in it...Extent of the Great Victory of Manassas... Excitement in Washington...The Yankee Army Falls Back Upon Alexandria and Washington...Review of the Situation...Rapid Change in our Military Fortunes...What the South had Accomplished...Comparison of Material Strength Between North and South...Humiliating Result to the Warlike Reputation of the North.

The effect of the defeat of McClellan before Richmond was received at the North with ill-concealed mortification and anxiety. Beneath the bluster of the newspapers, and the affectations of public confidence, disappointment, embarrassment and alarm were perceptible. The people of the North had been so assured of the capture of Richmond, that it was difficult to re-animate them on the heels of McClellan's retreat. The prospects held out to them so long, of ending the war in "sixty days," "crushing out the rebellion," and eating victorious dinners in Richmond, had been bitterly disappointed and

« 上一頁繼續 »